Refine – Polish your writing (but let it still be a little rough)  

In this stage of the process you are ensuring that what you have written is correct and complete. This typically involves two types of editing: macro-editing and micro-editing. Macro-editing involves an iterative process of filtering, organizing and expanding ideas whereas micro-editing involves word usage, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure. Refinement is an ongoing process and will progress as you share and continue to edit your writing project i.e. the goal of refinement is completion, not perfection.

Here is a checklist that you can use as you move through the refinement stage of writing:

  • I have checked and rechecked that all of my data is correct.
  • My grammar, punctuation, word usage and sentence structure are correct.
  • My transitions (sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph and section to section) are smooth and make sense.
  • The length of each section is balanced appropriately.
  • I also need to check that __________________________ is correct and complete.

It’s also of interest that, if your like me and you are uncomfortable in the next stage of the writing process–sharing–you can end up spending a lot of time in refinement because you are not ready to share it and as a result get quite good at refining your work. The good news is that this tells us that we just need to share more, to practise sharing early and often, and we will get better at sharing too.

If refining your work is something that you struggle with and you are learning the specifics of grammar, punctuation, word usage and sentence structure I would highly recommend looking into courses within your area or the American Medical Writers Association has an incredible learning program. I took their courses in person to obtain my core certificate and their courses were consistently high quality. 

If you like to hang out in refinement and you are struggling to share your work, please email me at for a Discovery Call so that we can learn more about what’s happening for you and whether the work I do would support you in achieving your writing goals.

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